Effect of Feeding a High Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio, Phosphorous Deficient Diet on Hypophosphatemic Rickets Onset in Broilers Academic Article uri icon


  • Recently, a P-deficient diet caused rickets in commercial chicks within three days. This study aimed to investigate the duration of onset of rickets in chicks. Data were collected from 311 day old chicks raised on 88 commercial farms. Male day-old Arbor Acres Plus broilers (n = 450) were studied in three trials, with three to four treatments each. Each treatment used one of the following crumbled feeds: control feed (calcium (Ca): phosphorus (P)-1.41), slightly high Ca:P feed (SHCa:P, Ca:P-2.69), high Ca:P ratio, P deficient feed (HCa:P, Ca:P-3.08), and HCa:P feed plus 1.5% dicalcium phosphate (HCa:P + DP). Each treatment had three replicates with 15 birds each. Rickets was induced by HCa:P, and cured by HCa:P + DP, confirmed by gross anatomy, gait score, serum P concentration and growth performance. Lameness was not found in control groups, whereas, observed in the HCa:P groups as early as day 2.7 on commercial farms and day 3 in experimental farm. Serum P was reduced in HCa:P (p < 0.01). Bodyweight and feed intake started decreasing at day 3 on commercial farms and in all trials (p < 0.01). The duration of onset of hypophosphatemic rickets in broiler chicks fed HCa:P crumbled feed is approximately three days.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, L., Li, N., Farnell, Y. Z., Wan, X., Yang, H., Zhong, X., & Farnell, M. B.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Xu, Lei||Li, Ning||Farnell, Yuhua Z||Wan, Xiaoli||Yang, Haiming||Zhong, Xiangqian||Farnell, Morgan B

publication date

  • October 2021